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Telecommuting and Sustainability


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Telecommuting as a sustainability strategy. Covers the pros and cons of telework, federal and state telework programs, costs and benefits, and quantifies the potential financial and environmental impacts of a national telework program. This program was presented by Kate Lister in San Diego so those statistics are available as well. Lecture can be customized for any locale with data from the telework savings calculator.

For more information contact Kate LIster at

(c) 2009 Telework Research Network - All rights reserved

Published in: Business, Technology
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Telecommuting and Sustainability

  1. 1. Kate Lister Executive Director, Principal Investigator Disclaimer: Anything contained in, not contained in, assumed to be implied by, warranted by, excluded from being warranted by, or vaguely alluded to in this presentation, or any other presentation resembling or not resembling this presentation in any way, shall not be attributed to, blamed upon, or otherwise associated with the presenter, any alleged presenter, her heirs or any of presenter’s friends, enemies, acquaintances, the Telework Research Network, or any other associated organization or individuals in any city, county, state, province, country, pla net, solar system, galaxy, universe, or multiverse, nor shall any of the aforementioned parties be held responsible, irresponsible, accountable, discountable, or in any way involved with the aforementioned presentation or Undress For Success word cloud courtesy the presence or absence thereof.
  2. 2. Take Your Pick
  3. 3. Definition • Telework – any form of • Teleworker – anyone who works remotely • Telecommuter– an office worker who periodically (one or more days per week) works remotely “All telecommuters are teleworkers, but not vice versa” -- Jack Nilles
  4. 4. Telework vs. Alternative Fuels • Half-time Telework Would Save 453 million barrels of oil a year – Equivalent of 764 tWh • Twice what U.S. produced in: – Biomass, Liquid Biofuels, Geothermal, Solar, Hydr o, Marine, and Wind combined in 2007
  5. 5. My Road Less Traveled • Just Say No To Pantyhose / Neck Ties • 20+ Years Working at Home – Barnstorming – What’s Next?
  6. 6. Telework Research • 250+ Studies • Researchers, Advocates, Naysayers • Employers, Employees, VC’s Our research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Fortune and many other publications.
  7. 7. Telework Savings Calculator • Used by legislators, community advocates, and Fortune 500 companies in U.S. and Canada to promote telework initiatives • Available for every City, County, Metro Area, Congressional District, State in U.S. • Savings -Community: Oil, greenhouse Telework Savings Calculator gases, traffic, highway maintenance -Company: Real Estate, Absenteeism, Turnover, Produc tivity
  8. 8. Telework Savings Calculator - Sources • American Community Survey (Interim • National Association of Child Care Census) Resource & Referral Agencies • Telework Adoption and Energy Use in • Energy Information Building and Transport Sectors in the Administration, Petroleum Supply Annual United States and Japan - Matthews and • U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Williams Information Administration, Household • Journal of Infrastructure Systems Electricity Reports • U.S. General Services Administration • Federal Highway Administration Traffic • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Safety Facts - National Highway Safety & • U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics Travel Administration Omnibus Household Survey • Hewitt LCG, Nucleus Absence Overview • The Quiet Success: Telecommuting’s and 2005 CCH Unscheduled Absence Impact on Transportation and Beyond ( Survey Reason Foundation) • American Management Association • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Productivity Studies • Collier's International Parking Study • U.S. Telework Coalition • The Internet and the New Energy • WorldatWork, Member survey: Attraction Economy (Joseph Romm ,Center for Energy and and Retention Practices Climate Solutions, Global Environment and Technology • Foundation)
  9. 9. Custom Savings Calculator • Total # of employees • % Reduction in absences • # Teleworkers • % of employees who quit each year • Days / week they will telework • % improvement in retention • Additionalemployees who could • Assumed improvement in work at home productivity • Roundtrip miles to work • Average annual earnings of • Roundtrip commute in minutes teleworkers • Other employee Savings • Other company savings • $ per gallon of gas • % Who could work at home • % teleworker offices that are • % of people who want to telework eliminated • % Daily travel reduction • Cost per kWh of electricity • Parking, Lunch, Work Clothes • Cost/per office • Other Individual Savings/Year • Cost of losing an employee • Day CareCosts • Cost of unscheduled absences
  10. 10. San Diego County Potential $ Impact of 472,000 San Diego Telecommuters: - Corporate: $3 Billion - Consumer: $5 Billion - Community: $4 Billion Nationally: Over $750 Billion/Year
  11. 11. Corporate Bottom Line Impact • Real Estate Savings $1.2 B - IBM slashed real estate costs by $50 million - Dow Chemical and Nortel save over 30% on non-real estate costs - Average real estate $10,000 per employee per year • Electricity $54M • Absenteeism $212M - 78% of people who call in sick aren’t. • Turnover $22M - 95% of employers say telework has a significant impact on attrition • Productivity $1.9 B Total Corporate Impact: $3.4 B + Carbon Taxes, Access Taxes, Clean Air Initiatives
  12. 12. Teleworker Impact • Vehicle Savings $1,980 • Parking, Food, Clothes, Misc. $2,558 to $11,222 • Daycare $1,500 to $4,000 Total Consumer Savings: $4,500 to $11,000/Yr - not including daycare + 2-3 extra weeks of free time
  13. 13. Community Bottom Line • Imported Oil Savings $4.2 Billion • Accident Costs $172 Million (1,400 people) • Higher Productivity • Better Emergency Responsiveness • Fuller Employment • Highway Maintenance $29 Million • 15,000 Homes Powered • Reduced Human Congestion • Beautifies Cities
  14. 14. Environment • Barrels of Oil: – Locally: 4.3 million barrels / yr – Nationally 57% of Gulf Imports • Greenhouse Gases: – Locally: 793,000 tons/yr – Nationally equivalent to removing 15 million cars
  15. 15. Other Great Reasons To Stay Home • Continuity of Operations • Improve Work/Life - Pandemic, Terrorism, Natural Balance disaster - A third of people surveyed say - 75% of teleworkers feel they they’d take working from home could continue to work in the event over a pay raise of a disaster (compared to 12% of non-telewokers) • Slow Brain Drain • Expand Labor Pool - 75% of retirees want to work past retirement, but they want - part-timers, retirees, rural to do it on their terms workers, disabled, caregivers • Increase Productivity •Gen Y Motivator - 20-45% increase in productivity - Flexible work scores high - 30% increase in sales
  16. 16. Playing in Traffic San Diego: 16% fewer cars on the highways “For every car you take off the road, there’s a 3x reduction in congestion.”
  17. 17. Ripple Effect • Less Travel – Teleconferencing / Video Conferencing – Remote Training / Webinars • Less Construction • Less Office Equipment / Toxic Waste • Less Paper – 10% could power 228,000 homes – reduce emissions equiv to 279,000 cars – reduce waste by 44,000 garbage trucks – reduces 16,000 Olympic pools worth of wastewater – save 13 million trees
  18. 18. Road Blocks • Management Attitudes • Security Concerns – Over 90% of IT managers say telework isn’t the problem • Costs -Average cost : $300 to $3,900 / first year teleworker (compared to $7,900 savings) - GSA shows 300% ROI - NCR and Lucent: savings double the costs. - Nortel: costs offset by the reduction in absenteeism alone • Not for Everyone
  19. 19. Green Light • Business Leadership • Political Leadership – Relax Zoning Laws – Avoid Double Taxation – Health Insurance – Ubiquitous Broadband / WiFi • Cost per highway mile = $44 million • Cost per information highway mile = $20k
  20. 20. Models for Success Federal Highways Authority / Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (2.2 billion allocation not spent. Expires 2012) • – Tax Credits:$20k for • Telework VA feasibility, Tax Credits: $1,200 – Grants up to $3,500 per per employee employee ,$10,000 for • Oregon equipment, $25,000 for – Up to $30,000 tax credits consulting • AZ, CT, Seattle, Denver, LA/Oran • Georgia ge/Ventura Counties
  21. 21. Undress For Success: The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home (Wiley, April 2009) • “You could spend years with focus groups assemble cross-functional teams to study and recommend organizational changes, or simply read Undress For Success.” – Jack Heacock, co-founder of the Telework Coalition • “The best collection of telework how-to’s and why’s I’ve seen anywhere.” – Jim Ware, co-founder of The Future of Work • Bob Fortier, President of Canadian Telework Association • Marcia Rhoades, WorldatWork • Laura Vanderkam, USA Today Reporter • Cali Williams Yost, Fast Company Expert
  22. 22. Make the Road Less Traveled the Way to Work